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Delta's chief operating officer resigns after losing out on CEO job

Delta's chief operating officer resigns after losing out on CEO job

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday that Chief Operating Officer James Whitehurst, who was passed over for the carrier's top job, has resigned effective immediately.
Outgoing Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said in a statement that Delta had hoped Whitehurst would stay, but the airline respects "his decision to move on in pursuit of new challenges."
The No. 3 U.S. carrier said last week that former Northwest Airlines Chief Executive Richard Anderson would become Delta's new CEO on Sept. 1.
Whitehurst and Delta Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian had both been top internal candidates to replace Grinstein but were passed over. Bastian, who received a promotion, is staying with Delta.
The company's statement did not detail Whitehurst's future plans.
In a memo to employees Wednesday, Whitehurst said that after careful thought, he decided it was time to "move on to the next chapter of my career."
Whitehurst said he believes the company will be in good hands under Anderson's leadership.
Atlanta-based Delta fought hard during bankruptcy to avoid being taken over by another carrier. Less than four months after exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it reignited speculation about a future merger by naming Anderson as its CEO.
The appointment of Anderson, a board member at Delta and former executive at UnitedHealth Group Inc., followed the airline's 19 1/2-month reorganization under bankruptcy protection. Delta entered Chapter 11 on Sept. 14, 2005, and emerged on April 30.
In bankruptcy, Delta shed billions in costs and restructured the carrier's operations. It also survived a hostile takeover bid by Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways Group Inc.


Updated : 2021-06-14 11:59 GMT+08:00